Most visitors come to Thailand because of the numerous cultural festivals in this country. If you happen to visit “the land of smiles” in November, in addition to Yi Peng, you can have a chance to take part in Loy Krathong which is the second best-known festival after the New Year celebration Songkran. Here’s some necessary information visitors needs to know about vibrant event.
1. What is Loy Krathong?
- Loy Krathong (also known as Loi Krathong or Thai Festival of Lights) is one of Thai celebration where people float a “Krathong” (a boat) made of banana trunk decorated with banana leaves, flowers, candle, and incense stick. This festival is held every year to show people’s gratitude towards the river especially the goddess of the river called Pra Mae Khongkha for giving them fresh water as well as to ask for forgiveness for polluting the water. Nowadays people also see Loy Krathong as a chance to wash away all their bad luck in the past year and wish the best for the coming year. This is one of the most best-preserved traditional festivals in Thailand.
- Loy Krathong date in 2019: 13th November.
2. Where to go for Loy Krathong festival 2019?
The Loy Krathong festival is annually celebrated nationwide so you can participate in this fantastic festival everywhere in Thailand. However, according to most locals and experienced tourists recommendation, top places for tourists to enjoy Loy Krathong lantern festival are Bangkok, Phuket, Sukhothai, and Tak. Stay tuned for more information about these places.
Bangkok is a great destination for Loy Krathong. Let’s take a look at some of the hot spots as well as fun activities during this event in the capital of Thailand.
– Hot spots:
- Public parks (Lumpini Park, Benjakiti Park), riverside malls (Asiatique, Maharaji Lifestyle Mall), Wat Arun, Wat Yannawa, Wat Saket.
- Great spots for enjoying the festivity view: Riverside hotel restaurants (Arun residence in Bangkok), Chao Phraya Riverbank.
- “Krathong” releasing: Bangkok is encircled by rivers, beaches, ponds, and many waterways, that’s why it’s quite easy to find a place to float your lighted Krathong. You can buy an already-made Krathong of different shapes as they are often sold at stores around festival hot spots or create one of your own. Normally, locals have a tradition of releasing krathongs and watching floating routes to predict what the future hold for their life. Similarly, couples do this to see if their relationship will be better in the next year or not. If your Krathong floats away from you, your wishes will come true; if it floats back, your wishes may not be accepted by the water goddess.
- Thai traditional dance shows: In addition to the main activity which is the Krathong floating, there are many fascinating Thai traditional dance shows in some areas such as Asiatique. Those performances may include both the “Ram Wong” traditional dance of Thailand and the retelling of the Loy Krathong story.
- Fireworks: every year Bangkok greets Loy Krathong festival with a display of fireworks. Together with the launch of Krathong and the float procession, tourists can also enjoy the colorful fireworks, especially in Asiatique.
- Buddhist ceremonies: this is perhaps the most indispensable part of Loy Krathong 2019 in Bangkok. The Thai see this as a chance to purify your spirit to a better version of yourself and foreigners are welcomed to join these ceremonies at Wat Saket.
Many people choose Phuket to be their destination for the Loy Krathong celebration because this place is well-known for plenty of amazing activities during this festival.
– Hot spots:
- For Krathong floating and celebrating: beaches (Patong Beach), lakes (Nai Harn Lake, Karon Lake), Saphan Hin Park, Suan Luang(King Rama IX) Park.
- For eating: on the streets at the local vendors you can enjoy yummy Thai food at ridiculously cheap prices.
- “Krathong” making and releasing: Phuket is surrounded by beaches which are always crowded with locals and tourists coming to launch krathongs and join various kinds of activities. During the occasion, many hotels in Phuket organize Krathong making contests and buffet dinner before the on-site floating procession (Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong, MGallery by Sofitel, Grand Mercure Phuket Patong Resort & Villas, Novotel Phuket Resort, Anantara Layan Phuket Resort, The Surin Phuket) => You can reserve one of them in advance to enjoy the festivities.
- Thai traditional dance shows: come over Thalang Maneekram for wonderful cultural experiences of traditional dancing shows, singing contests and live performances by Thai classical dancers from all over the country. Also, some of the hotels such as Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong, MGallery by Sofitel does have modern dancing shows which are really attractive.
- “Miss Noppamas” beauty contest: this is an indispensable annual activity Phutket during Loy Krathong celebration. Interestingly, there are also “dids version” beauty pageants that promises to bring much more joy to all spectators.
- Parade: Hours before the parade starts, the streets where it goes through will be closed to make sure everything goes smooth then. In Phuket town, the parade often starts from the Sanamchai field in front of the Phuket Provincial Hall on Surin Rd and arrive in Saphan Hin. In Patong, the Loy Krathong parade starts at 6:30 pm on Thaweewong Rd at the southern end of the beach and arrive on Bangla Rd at 6:50 pm.
- Fireworks: from the beginning till the the closing of the festival, there will be several firework displays to light up the atmosphere around. Tourists can choose to enjoy fireworks at festival venues or in their hotels as most of the hotels do have on-site firework performance for their customers.
Although Loy Krathong is now celebrated throughout Thailand and even in some neighbor countries, the ritual is originally derives from Sukhothai so the celebration in Sukhothai is perhaps the most special. Generally, the Loy Krathong and Candle Festival in Sukhothai takes place over a period of ten days. Here’s some useful information during the festival in Sukhothai you may need:
– Hot spots: Sukhothai Historical Park.
- “Krathong” releasing: Additionally to the launch of Krathong by locals and tourists, there is a float procession of large Krathongs from 17 northern provinces in Thailand, which is astounding. There are also Krathong design contests for participators and Nang Nopphamat procession.
- Buddhist ceremonies: there are several ceremonies to welcome the Dawn of Happiness. They offer dried food to Buddhist monks along the roads between Saphan Bun, Wat Traphang Thong, and Historical Park. This is a good opportunity for visitors to witness this sacred ritual and get to know more about Thailand traditions.
- Traditional Thai performances: live contemporary performances at Wat Sorasak, traditional Thai music in front of Wat Maha That, Khon mask performance at the back of Wat Chana Songkhram, Performance on the legend of Thao Si Chulalak at the pond of Wat Sa Si…all are worth watching.
- Nang Nopphamat beauty contest: at Dong Tan stage.
- Ancient markets of the Sukhothai Period and markets: these places sell products from many communities all over Sukhothai so it’s a good ideal to visit and buy some souvenirs for your family.
- Nightly “light and sound” performance in front of Wat Maha That, Historical Park. There will be also Gala Dinner at the same venue for visitors.
Loy Krathong festival in Tak which is called Loy Krathong Sai is famous for the coconut shell krathong. In 2019, Loy Krathong Sai will take place at Rim Sai Than Lan Krathong Sai, at the foot of the Somphot Krung Rattanakosin 200 Pi Bridge. The main events occurs on 11th November so in order not to miss any exciting activities, you’d better come on 10th and reserve a hotel for stay during the festival. Now below are some events that will take place in Loy Krathong Sai 2019:
- The Royal trophy, lanterns and Krathong cups procession.
- Krathong Sai and folk art and cultural performances from the communities procession.
- The opening ceremony of the Loi Krathong Sai Festival 2019
- The release of Krathong Sai – one thousand coconut-shell lanterns in line on the watercourse.
- Having dinner of local cuisine along with the release of Krathong Sai.
- A ritual to worship Goddess Ganga, the Mother of the River.
- A chance to taste Tak’s local food at Lan Khrua Krathong Sai, Kat Krathong Sai.
- An exhibition together with booths of schools and agencies selling their products, and sales of OTOP goods
All of the events are promised to bring an outstanding experience for both locals and tourists. For further information on Loy Krathong festival in Tak, please contact:
- Tourism Authority of Thailand Tak Office
- Tel: +66 (0) 5551 4341-3
- Email: [email protected]
- Page: www.facebook.com/taktravel
In summary, if you have a plan to visit Thailand in November, let choose to arrive on the days of Loy Krathong to enjoy the nationwide festival atmosphere. Wherever you come for the Loy Krathong celebration, there will surely be different experiences awaiting, you won’t regret it. Make sure you prepare yourself well with all the necessary information and don’t forget to check out the Tourism Authority of Thailand website for official update on this event.